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The role of causality in the co-ordination of two perspectives on distribution within a virtual simulation. (English)
Stat. Educ. Res. J. 5, No. 2, 68-88 (2006).
Summary: Our primary goal is to design a microworld which aspires to research thinking-in-change about distribution. Our premise, in line with a constructivist approach and our prior research, is that thinking about distribution must develop from causal meanings already established. This study reports on a design research study of how students appear to exploit their appreciation of causal control to construct new situated meanings for the distribution of throws and success rates. We provided onscreen control mechanisms for average and spread that could be deterministic or subject to stochastic error. The students used these controls to recognise the limitations of causality in the short term but its power in making sense of the emergence of distributional patterns. We suggest that the concept of distribution lies in co-ordinating emergent data-centric and modelling perspectives for distribution and that causality may play a central role in supporting that co-ordination process.
Classification: K65 C35
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